Sunday, June 21, 2009

Nostalgia was better in the old days.

This week, I’m writing yet another in my long line of columns about “nostalgia”... the good ole days!

It’s one of my favorite things to write about because the good ole days were…
well, they were the good ole days!!!!

For instance… Do you remember the old days of analog TV. I certainly hope you can remember, because it was LAST WEEK!

The Big Switch to digital occurred last week, and yet another piece of the old ways fell by the wayside. No more big metal antennas decorating the roof of your house. No more rabbit ears on top of your set.

I remember when you needed two separate antennas: one for picking up VHF (which I knew only as Channel 10); and one for picking up UHF, which were the other two channels – 19 and 25 – that contained the TV shows that some of the other kids in my class talked about, but I had never seen because we only had one antenna.

I guess things just change... and the Big Switch to digital is just one of the latest examples.

Consider for a moment how much changed in the last week:

A week ago, there was analog TV… and there were amusement parks known as Six Flags.

A week ago, millions of kids were high school graduates… and now, a week later, they’re just unemployed.

A month ago, there were Pontiacs, but apparently no more.

A year ago, there was Circuit City and Sharper Image, and banks actually loaned money. A year ago, most people had never heard of Rod Blagojevich or Bernie Madoff. (We thought a Ponzi Scheme was something dreamed up by one of the characters on Happy Days.) And, a year ago, there were still Republicans!

A decade ago, there wasn’t anything called Reality TV. Watching TV was an escape from reality… although I’m not sure why we were escaping, because reality back then, in retrospect, was pretty good.

A decade ago, there were two really tall, side-by-side skyscrapers that defined the skyline of New York City. Like the lyricist said, “Wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then.”

A decade ago, this little newspaper chain was turning 10 years old… because it was two decades ago this summer that Yours Truly decided to launch our first newspaper – The Lake Murray News – motivated largely by the fact that a close friend who had been the newspaper business told him “it couldn’t be done”.

Now, 20 years later, the current economic climate suggests that he might have been right!

But, as we embark on the celebration of our 20th year in business – which you will most certainly read more about in coming weeks, right here in this little column – we are entrenched in a mission, which is not about profit as much as it is about providing the community a forum to exercise the “freedom of the press” which our forefathers felt strongly enough about to include in the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

Twenty years ago, four of the five newspapers we publish each week didn’t exist.
While those WERE the good ole days, we didn’t have any good way to share the details of those days with the rest of the community.

Just as TV has changed from analog to digital, from three channels to 300 channels, from rabbit ears to cable, and from an escape from reality to Reality TV, so will this newspaper change in the years ahead. We’re not sure exactly how, but we’re sure it will change…. because things just change!

But in one form or another, it will continue to be a part of the community, since having a forum for the exchange of information within the community is too important to let melt away.

And, in the next few weeks, as we pass the milestone of having published weekly newspapers for the 1,040th week in a row, we’re gonna keep plugging away -- recession or no -- and try to remember that THESE are the good ole days we’ll be writing about 20 years from now in the Summer of 2029.

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